At Primary Residential Mortgage, we know the importance of
contributing to our communities in a way that will help them thrive, which is
why we look for opportunities to serve our neighbors through PRMI
Giving Network. As part of our commitment to improving communities
near and far, we host an annual international humanitarian trip for PRMI
employees and friends. This year, we had the privilege to visit the beautiful
country of Guatemala
for the second time.
In partnership with Habitat for Humanity Guatemala,
PRMI’s dedicated group of volunteers joined together with Habitat’s team, local
masons and survivors of the recent Volcan de Fuego eruption to help build new
homes in Palin,
Esquintla to replace those that were so tragically lost.
For one special week, this group of mortgage professionals
and their close friends and families traded desks and computers for gloves and
shovels. Moving mountains of cinder block and earth, the PRMI volunteers worked
side-by-side with their new Guatemalan friends, building homes and literally
laying the foundation for a new community built out of love and support.
The volcano that erupted in June 2018 was a horrific tragedy
that made headlines across the world. Hundreds of people lost their lives and
thousands more were displaced. The scene that took place on that afternoon was
something that many will never forget. Mountains of ash and pyroclastic flow
came barreling towards the small town of San Miguel Los Lotes, leaving many
without the chance to flee. It’s estimated that the wave of debris was
traveling at speeds close to 100 MPH and reached temperatures of over 800
The stories shared with us by the survivors turned our
hearts toward the affected population and changed our perspectives on our own
lives and trials.
Originally, the town was established by people looking to
make a living by mining sand from the nearby hillsides. Even up until the
disaster, most families lived at or below the poverty line. There were
children, mothers, fathers, grandparents, cousins and siblings, many of whom
sacrificed their own lives in order to save the lives of those they love. Each
and every person in the tight-knit community had their lives changed forever
Once the disaster occurred, the world jumped into action
offering help. Organizations flooded in from near and far. People came to the
aid of those in need and helped with the immediate aftermath. As time has
passed, the response both nationally and internationally has begun to wane, but
Habitat for Humanity Guatemala continues working to find a sustainable solution
for at least some of the survivors.
In a community called “Valle de Las Flores” in Palin, Esquintla,
Guatemala, 24 families will receive a seed of hope in the form of a new house
for themselves and their surviving family members. This new community offers
them a chance to rebuild and heal.
In the words of Bernardo, a local and survivor, “The new
home offers a chance at a new beginning and an opportunity to begin to find a
At the helm of this disaster relief initiative is Michael
Estill, a Habitat Guatemala employee, who is helping this community rise again,
and leading hard working teams toward the goal of completing at least half of
the homes by Christmas Day 2018.
The communities impacted by this volcano are
still struggling and in need of assistance. We invite anyone willing to help to
a contribution through a reputable organization such as Habitat for
Humanity Guatemala. If you are looking for opportunities closer to home, feel
free to reach out to PRMI Giving Network for
help identifying those in need in your own communities.
If you're ready to take the next step, work with a team that can provide the personal attention you deserve. Our mortgage company has helped over 200,000 borrowers fulfill their dream of home ownership. We'd love to help you too!